National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI)
With deep respect to the Native American culture and the Indian’s deep connection to the land, our artisans worked in harmony with the natural surroundings when designing and building the rockwork and water features at the museum property. We completed two water features – an organic wetland area with a pond and a formal architectural fountain that meanders around the museum’s curvilinear building. As part of our work, we installed the mechanical elements, waterproofing and rockwork.
For the formal fountain’s waterfall, we acquired, shipped and installed 40 large uncarved rocks and boulders, called Grandfather Rocks. The rocks, which serve as reminders of the longevity of the American Indian’s relationship to the environment, were selected from a quarry in Canada. Before they were relocated, the Montagnais First Nations group blessed the boulders to ensure they would have a safe journey and to carry the message and cultural memory of past generations to future generations. When they arrived in Washington, D.C., they were blessed again.
The wetland area represents the original Chesapeake Bay environment prior to European settlement and attracts birds, squirrels and other wildlife.